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About The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC)
The National Preconception Health and Health Care (PCHHC) is a public-private partnership of over 70 organizations focused on improving the health of young women and men and any children they may choose to have. The vision is that all women and men of reproductive age will achieve optimal health and wellness, fostering a healthy life course for them and any children they may have.
The Initiative’s Goals are to…
- Improve the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of men and women related to preconception health
- All pregnancies are intended and planned
- Build health equity and eliminate disparities in birth outcomes
- Ensure that all women and men of reproductive age receive quality services that enable them to achieve high levels of wellness, minimize risks and enter any pregnancy they might have in optimal health
- Reduce risks among women who have had a prior adverse maternal, fetal or infant outcome through interventions during the postpartum / interconception period
PCHHC is coordinated by the Center for Maternal and Infant Health, housed within the School of Medicine at UNC at Chapel Hill. Support for the Initiative’s core operations is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, the Initiative also has support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. As the Initiative seeks to expand its work, additional funding partners are needed.
The Initiative’s goals and vision are achieved through the collaborative efforts of national, state and local partners who donate their time and talent to pushing this work forward. Five workgroups convene to take on different components of the work – clinical, consumer, public health, policy and surveillance – then come together monthly to foster synergy and idea sharing.
Healthy People 2020 Objectives include a focus on preconception health in the Maternal, Infant and Child Health (MICH) objectives (14-16). Click here to review. Further, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of HRSA has identified increasing attendance at an annual well woman visit as one of its national performance measures aimed at improving preconception health. Click here to learn more.
Key Publications on PCHHC History
Advancing preconception health in the United States: strategies for change, Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences (9/2016)
Action Plan for the National Initiative on Preconception Health and Health Care (PCHHC), A Report of the PCHHC Steering Committee, 2012-14.
Recommendations to Improve Preconception Health and Health Care – United States, A Report of the CDC / ATSDR Preconception Care Work Group and the Select Panel on Preconception Care, MMWR, April 2006.
In December 2016, national partners gathered for a “Catalyzing Change Meeting,” where a strategic direction for PCHHC and actions needed to advance preconception health in the U.S. was solidified.
View our 2017 strategies in the meeting outcome documents below (coming soon).
Join the National Initiative
For information about donating to, volunteering or partnering with The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PCHHC), email Suzanne Woodward at SuzanneW@med.unc.edu or call 919-843-9336 or Sarah Verbiest at SarahV@med.unc.edu.
PCHHC Leaders are regularly providing expert commentary to national and/or local conversations and lead or contribute to ground-breaking reports.
PCHHC Press Releases:
In the News:
No, babies don’t actually ruin vaginas, SheKnows
Preconception Counseling in Men, Medscape
His & Hers Wellness Visits—What do they cover? Why are they critical to your health & life plans?, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy Blog
Clinicians and Patients Work Together to Improve Preconception Health in the U.S., National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) Blog
It Takes Two to Tango: A Man’s Preconception Health Matters, March of Dimes (News Moms Need Blog)
19 Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask Your Gynecologist, Reader’s Digest
The Zika Virus – Everything Travelers Need to Know Right Now, The Street.com
Could You Be Pregnant with No Symptoms?, SheKnows
The 13 Biggest Maternal Health Issues In The U.S., & What We Can Do To Fix Them, Romper (sponsored by Walgreens)
- Are There Risks to Getting An Epidural?
- How Long Will I Be In Labor?
- What Does Labor Feel Like?
- Can the Zika Virus Hurt My Unborn Child?
The Worst Health Advice Gynecologists Have Ever Heard, Reader’s Digest
Embracing The Older Mom: Welcome to Today, Univision (Papas y Mamas)
How Life and Pregnancy Planning Can Effect Outcomes, March of Dimes (News Moms Need Blog)
Pregnancy Symptoms, Negative Test: What You Might Be Experiencing, BlackDoctor.org
The Preconception Care Paradigm in US Public Health, Lamaze International
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Addicted in the Womb, WHDT World News
Recent Key Reports & Clinical Publications:
Postpartum Health and Wellness: A Call for Quality Woman-Centered Care, Maternal and Child Health Journal (October 2016)
Advancing preconception health in the United States: strategies for change, Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences (September 2016)
Using the Reproductive Life Plan in contraceptive counselling, Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences (September 2016)
Preconception Wellness and Healthcare: Can We Practice (and Measure) What We Preach?, NEJM Journal Watch (May 2016) – PDF version
Recommendations for Health Systems to Measure and Index Preconception Wellness, Obstetrics & Gynecology (May 2016)
Catalyzing a Reproductive Health and Social Justice Movement, Maternal and Child Health Journal (April 2016)
AAFP Preconception Care (Position Paper), American Academy of Family Physicians (December 2015)